Slingshot Company Winner Announced after Pitch Challenge
The Innovation Cluster and FastStart Peterborough announced the winner of its second annual summer Slingshot program pitch challenge, after the youth entrepreneurs pitched their various businesses on Thursday Aug. 23, 2018.
Each having to pitch their business to a panel of judges within a 10-minute time frame, Dylan Trepanier of Alexander Optical was awarded the grand prize of $1,000 to go towards the company’s future growth.
Alexander Optical is increasing access to eye care in the community. They organize pop-up clinics with eye care professionals on site to perform comprehensive eye exams, to find eye wear solutions and to provide an option to finance their eye care. Pop-up clinics are facilitated at locations including schools, seniors residences and local businesses to benefit patients with public insurance, patients with private insurance, and patients without insurance coverage.
Dylan Trepanier was inspired to start Alexander Optical when he got his first eye exam at 16, after years of his vision impacting his education and extracurricular activities. Realizing there could be a better solution for access to eye care, Trepanier started his business plan.
“Alexander Optical provides a solution so students don’t have to go without getting their eyes tested or having professional eye care,” says Trepanier.
Trepanier was able to grow his business throughout the summer, accomplishing milestones such as growing his team, networking with other startups, and gaining knowledge from Innovation Specialists and workshops.
“My hope for the future after the Slingshot program is to get eye care professionals involved in the business and have local businesses establish pop-up clinics,” says Trepanier.
Each Slingshot company brought a different innovative solution to the table, covering everything from eye care to mobile networking apps. Although each business was in a different stage of growth when entering the space, each business has grown and shown tremendous entrepreneurial spirit throughout the summer journey.
Each entrepreneur had to pitch to the judges what they have accomplished for their business throughout spending their time in the Innovation Cluster’s incubator. During that time, the participants were able to network with fellow tech startups in the incubator and gain knowledge through Innovation Specialists and workshops, helping them excel at their skills.
“It’s incredible to see what these young startups can do in a summer program when given the mentorship, space and access to critical resources early on in their business,” says Rosalea Terry, Marketing Manager and Senior Innovation Specialist.
Runners up were the startups The Council of Indigenous Students, Wurk Connect and Socialize.
The panel of expert judges were Robert Gauvreau, founding partner of Gauvreau & Associates; Maxine Mann, dean of the School of Business & dean of Trades & Technology of Fleming College; Le Nguyen, partner of LLF Lawyers; Marcelo Sarkis Konig, founder of Prima IP and Helen Smith, controller of Part Time CFO Services.